Two Models of Executive Politics
Politicized America and Depoliticized Canada
This chapter should be dedicated to the memory of Woodrow Wilson—as political scientist, that is, since he anticipated the Progressive Era with his clarion call for a "politics-administration" dichotomy (Wilson 1887). What he meant was that politicians should make policy but administrators ought to implement it, and by establishing a professionalized public administration insulated from party politics, Wilson hoped to displace patronage and create a career government service based on merit selection so that individuals with talent, honesty, and objectivity could be recruited. Wilson, an Anglophile, nurtured his ideas from the British.
Canadian political science has not developed a homegrown version of the politics-administration debate, probably because the problem is obviated by its parliamentary government. Deep within the system is a logic that recognizes that the politics-administration division is meaningless and, therefore, the appropriate means for resolving the politics-versus-administration issue is to keep political agents accountable for everything that occurs within the policy-making and administrative realms. Thus parliamentary government gives rise to what S. L. Sutherland calls the "blaming cycle" * (Americanists refer to this as "retrospective" voting by the electorate)—defeating the government is compensation for the inability of Canadians to designate separate roles for administrators and politicians in the decision-making process.____________________